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Required Reading? 50 Rules for Wait Staff

Posted by gratrueities on November 4, 2009

Even we were taken aback by this list of 50 rules for wait staff posted in the New York Times  by Long Island restaurateur Bruce Buschel. And, these 50 are only Part 1. It sounds like there will be another 50 in an upcoming post for a total of 100 rules.

Not to say that these rules aren’t relevant, and useful, they are. But…pity the poor server who is handed a list of these rules on their first day on the job. It does seem a bit overwhelming.

Some of the rules are common  sense and virtually all of them touch on something that  could easily turn into an aggravation for the guest.

Here are some of GraTRUEities favorites, with our comments.

3. Never refuse to seat three guests because a fourth has not yet arrived.

 —Yes! It would be awesome if all restaurants were more relaxed about seating partial parties.

8. Do not interrupt a conversation. For any reason. Especially not to recite specials. Wait for the right moment.

—So true.

11. Do not hustle the lobsters. That is, do not say, “We only have two lobsters left.” Even if there are only two lobsters left.

—Thank-you for this one, Bruce.

12. Do not touch the rim of a water-glass. Or any other glass.

—Eeeck! We hope not.

And finally, saving the best for last,

50. Do not turn on the charm when it’s tip time. Be consistent throughout.


3 Responses to “Required Reading? 50 Rules for Wait Staff”

  1. These are posted up in the wait staff room @ two of my bar gigs. Go figure. Good advice though; no one learns if they’re not told/taught…

  2. Wasim said

    There was a very interesting episode of “This American Life” where they surveyed wait staff on how their tipping changed based on how cheerful the staff was – the shocking conclusion was that you could be really surly with customers, as long as you turned on the charm at the end – that’s what customes remembered and often tipped more !

  3. Anony.Miss said

    I absolutely hate it when they bring a beverage glass when their fingers on the rim. Hovering and chatting too long, I dislike. I was a waitperson once and excuse a lot- it’s a difficult job. I want my drinks brought right away, and then I don’t mind being ignored for a bit if they are super busy. Just get me started with bread, chips, drinks…

    Also, watching cooks in open kitchens with no gloves handle veggies, etc. Gross.

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